Does anyone pay attention to Mitsubishi anymore? Probably not. At least not since the 1990s, when cars like the Mitsubishi Eclipse and the 3000GT were fast and furiously roaming the streets. But since then, the brand has been largely off the radar.
Believe it or not, Mitsubishi has been building cars since then, and one such car is a small SUV called the Eclipse Cross. It competes in the small crossover segment that’s headed by Honda’s heavy-hitting HR-V, but can the Eclipse Cross hold a candle to it?
The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross debuted in 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show. Its name does originate from the original Eclipse, however, that’s where the similarities of the two vehicles end. The small sports car Eclipse of the 90s was made in America, at the brand’s Diamond-Star Motors plant in Illinois, while the new Eclipse Cross is manufactured in Japan.
The first production model year for the Eclipse Cross was 2018 when the small SUV made its way into the segment boasting a funky design and a decent interior quality, which was typical of the brand’s offerings in recent years.
When it debuted, the Eclipse Cross garnered mediocre reviews from journalists. Motor1 was quick to jump on the car’s interior, stating, “For all the extreme edges on the outside, you expect to find the same when you open the door. But, no. The Eclipse Cross’s cabin is perfectly plain, with a healthy heaping of black plastic and faux chrome trim pieces.” And U.S. News warns readers of their findings: “While the Eclipse Cross is an affordable choice, most rivals will get you more bang for your buck.”
We know that Mitsubishi has been more known for their appliances as opposed to their car in the past couple of decades, but we have to wonder if the Eclipse Cross is really that bad. Let’s take a look at some of the features.
It fits in with the crowd
The small crossover category is filled with unique-looking cars like the Honda HR-V, the Kia Seltos, and the Nissan Kicks, all of which have quirky looks, colors, and personalities, and we think the Eclipse fits right in. On the outside, the Eclipse Cross has an aggressive, but sporty look thanks to bold character lines and sloping rear roofline that’s intersected by a two-tiered rear end. The connecting rear tail light seems odd at first, especially considering it bisects the driver’s rearview, however, it seems to fit the overall profile.
On the inside, the interior does look a little bland, but functional. Several reviewers have listed the seats as comfortable and supportive and the button and touchscreen layout is easy to navigate. Kelley Blue Book noted that the interior is comfortable and attractive, as the available black headliner gives it a “classier look.”
The Eclipse Cross does come with safety features that are on par with others in the segment including driver-assist features like lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 152 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to a CVT transmission and put out power to the front wheels, however, all-wheel drive is available. As for fuel economy, this small SUV can achieve up to 26 mpg in the city in front-wheel-drive form and up to 29 mpg on the highway, which is about on par with the competition.
Is it better than the Honda HR-V?
From what we can tell, and from what we have read, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is not better than Honda’s HR-V. While it does produce more horsepower and comes with a better 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, we think that the HR-V is still a better value as the overall quality of the product is much better. Sorry Mitsubishi, you can’t win them all. At least they have appliances to fall back on.